salads, mains, vegetables

chopped kale salad

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I was lucky enough to have an excuse to jet off to Miami for a few days last month.  When I left my house in Boulder for the airport that morning it was a charming  -17 degrees. No need to detail just how much I was looking forward to defrosting in the Sunshine State. After many a dramatic pause at DIA (multiple de-icing efforts, doors not closing, etc etc), I arrived much later in the afternoon than I had anticipated.  Wanting to make the most of the fleeting daylight,  I parked myself outside at a table at my hotel overlooking the bay and ordered up a hearty kale salad.   My plan was to eat and jump on a stand up paddle board for a little sunset ride.  And, thankfully, that is exactly what I did.

Because then it rained.  And rained.  And rained.  For the next three straight days, I never saw the sun again.  The temperature actually dropped below 70 degrees which in Miami means that folks break out the cashmere, boots and fur.  There I was,  in my white jeans and flip flops, slopping around through the flooded streets surrounded by people shivering in down vests.  On the very bright side, I had lots of time that would normally have been allotted to very important poolside activities to check out some art.

chopped kale salad
chopped kale salad

I have been visiting (and briefly lived in) the area since the early 90's and I will tell you that Miami is as interesting now as it has ever.  The food scene is no longer limited to flash and cash.  There are chefs using local everything, a plethora of micro breweries, inventive juice bars (with a wicked sense of humor) and an excellent coffee roaster. Don't be alarmed.  It's not Portlandia with palm trees.  Far far from it.

chopped kale salad
chopped kale salad

My best spent time? Wandering around the Wynwood Art District.  Not so much for what I saw in the galleries.  No, for me, it's all about the street art. For a several blocks within the district, most of the building facades are graced in one way or another.

chopped kale salad
chopped kale salad

It's a neighborhood where galleries with $300,000 pieces of art co-exsist with auto body shops, complete with chain link fences and guard dogs.  The energy is palpable.  I urge you to GO before all of the $10m condos are birthed.

chopped kale salad
chopped kale salad

But back to the salad.  It does your body good AND tastes delicious with all of the different elements of fresh, nutty, tangy and sweet.  Toss one together and channel warmer days.

chopped kale salad

inspired by a salad at The Standard SpaHotel Miami

1 1/2 bunches of tuscan kale, ribs removed and chopped

2-3 carrots, peeled and shaved into ribbons

manchego cheese, shaved

1/4 c raisins

1/4 c pine nuts, toasted

For the dressing:

1/4 c olive oil

3-4 T apple cider vinegar

1 clove of garlic

1 T maple syrup

salt + pepper to taste

Combine all of the above ingredients and toss with dressing.  This salad will keep nicely for about 3 days.